In our last visit I shared some thoughts based on a well known speech given by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the graduation ceremonies of a prestigious school. His speech was short and to the point: “Never. Never. Never give up!” After thinking of Bible verses that came to mind while reflecting on his succinct, pointed words, I felt like amplifying my thoughts further. This is what I came up with.
Never try to go forward without a plan and goal.
Never adjust your plan without good cause.
Never stop short of finishing what you believe God wanted you to accomplish.
Always give up self praise and pride when you succeed.
That’s a slight twist on what Churchill said and probably intended, but his succinct statement will help me remember these steps to success as a Christian. Now let’s amplify each of these steps further.
Never try to go forward without a plan and goal. Paul compared his living for Christ to an athlete in the Olympic games in 1 Corinthians 9. He said that athletes push themselves ruthlessly in preparing for the games. They do this so they might win the prize – a flower wreath placed on their heads as they bask in the accolades of the crowd. This wreath withered in a short period of time and the accolades faded as new athletes rose to stardom.
Paul says that he beat his body into subjection so he would be in fit shape to win an un-withering, unfading prize – the affirmation of God. His preparation and pursuit was intense, even brutal, because he wanted to be ready and not disqualified for the prize.